Based on the Morris Minor released in 1928, the Midget was a car small of small proportions, one that mimicked its direct rival, the Austin Seven. MG made only slight modifications to the Morris Minor to turn it into a Midget, the most drastic of which was a new two-seater, fabric-covered body with a pointed tail.. Chassis arrangements remained unchanged, except for a lowered ride height and other minor modifications.
The Midget’s engine was a new 847cc unit developed by Morris from their experince building Hispano-Suiza W4A engines during the war. Interesting design elements included a gear driven overhead camshaft, and very rigidly mounted, twin bearing crankshaft. Early cars produced 20 bhp, while later ones recieved a 27bhp engine which was more than ample for the 1100 lbs (499 kgs) Midget.
At the time of manufacture, Autocar declared that ‘The MG Midget will make sports car history’ and they were right. As released the Midget sold for just 175 GBP, and for that money the customer recieved a car that was as fast as most expensive gran tourers. For this reason, privateers campaigned Midgets from the local to the international level. They raced at Monte Carlo, Brooklands and even Le Mans. A highlight victory was achieved at the Brooklands Double Twelve race where three privateers took the team victory.
The Midget went into full production in March 1929 and the success of the new car soon made it clear that it was necessary for MG to move yet again to a bigger factory. At the end of 1929, MG took over part of the Pavlova Leather Companyâs factory at Abingdon on Thames a few miles south of Oxford, destined to be MGâs home for the next fifty years.